December 13, 2018
December 13, 2018
Kell Brook

Mark Robinson/Matchroom Boxing

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I WAS at the Kell Brook fight against Michael Zerafa at the weekend.

I thought Kell was a little flat, but when a fighter gets in his 30s and only has maybe a few fights left, then people start to say, ‘Is he done?’

He’s had flat performances before though – if you look at his first fight with Carson Jones he got hurt, but then did a number on him in the rematch; which shows how flat he can be, and also how on top of his game he can be too.

There was pressure on him for the Zerafa fight, he’d changed trainers, he looked like he was trying to force things, and he maybe couldn’t get motivated for the opponent or didn’t have the fear factor. If he’s in with a name, and there’s a bit more motivation, then he’ll be fine. I don’t think you can read too much into it. Just look at Tyson Fury’s two fights before he fought Deontay Wilder, and then he puts in a performance like he did.

People have mentioned the trainer situation, but you can tell he likes [new trainer] John Fewkes. At this stage of his career, you’re not going to teach him a lot more; it’s the motivational side, and getting him up for fights. Obviously, they’ll be working on tactics to a degree but you’re not going to change him technically. I thought some of the criticism was unjustified, he won every round in an eliminator for a world title. People are quick to criticise, but he totally outboxed the kid and is now in line for a shot at the world title, or the Khan fight. He’s now placed nicely, and I think he’ll go from strength to strength.

People are knocking John Fewkes, but if Kell had taken Zerafa out early they’d have said it was a substandard opponent, but because it went long they’re saying he’s changed something that isn’t broken and has gone with the wrong trainer. Kell had been beaten previously and he wanted to freshen up, you can’t blame him for that. John Fewkes has the experience, he was a quality fighter himself who probably didn’t fulfil his potential. Him and Kell have hit it off, and I don’t see how you can criticise John Fewkes, to be honest.

I’m also looking forward to the Josh Warrington and Carl Frampton show on December 22, I think it’s a great fight. Frampton has obviously fought the higher calibre of opponent, but Josh is a real athlete and has worked hard to get where he’s got – I have a lot of respect for him. If Frampton is comfortable at the weight, there’s no niggles and is on the top of his game, then I think he’ll be too much for Josh. But when it comes to endeavour, work rate and taking people out of their comfort zone, then that’s where Josh has a chance. On ability, I think Carl is just in front but it’s a great, close fight; it’s 55/45 in Carl’s favour, for me. Josh is there on merit, I know he has that good win over Selby but I think, overall, Frampton is a stronger fighter than Selby.

It’s a crazy situation that the Dillian Whyte and Dereck Chisora fight, another PPV, is on the same night. Why would anyone do that? Even the big American broadcasters usually avoid clashing with each other’s shows. This will just affect the fighter’s purses because their money will depend on what numbers they do; I’m positive of that. So, it’s crazy they couldn’t come to some sort of arrangement. You always look for a motive, but I don’t see any logic in it; obviously one [promoter] thinks their fight is bigger than the other one.

I think they’re both great fights but, if I had to, I’d probably go for Frampton against Warrington, with Whyte against Chisora a close second. Because the heavyweight division is on a high, they probably think it’ll do better numbers, but I’m not sure. I think Frampton against Warrington is more of a proper fight.